Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Durations of the Sections of Sequentia cyclia sopra “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis

This page offers a table showing the durations of the individual sections, along with the proportion in percentage, that make up the massive Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis (1948-49; 335 pp.) in Jonathan Powell’s recording on Piano Classics PCL10206 (7 CDs, with a 32-page introduction by Powell) released in 2020. The five fugues are given rows of their own since they have durations comparable to any of the work’s other sections. Some statistics follow.

  • Shortest of the 25 variations besides the Passacaglia (no. 25): 2:15
  • Longest of the 25 variations besides the Passacaglia (no. 4): 1:04:45
  • Passacaglia: 1:37:28
  • Longest fugue (Fuga quinta): 41:04
  • Average duration for vars. 1-21 and 23-26 (i.e., omitting the Passacaglia): 12:51
  • Average duration of the variations in the Passacaglia: 3:11 (with the theme), 3:13 (without the theme)

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Section Tempo/Title Duration Percentage
Section Tempo/Title Duration Percentage
Theme Largo. Legatissimo sempre e nello stile medioevale detto “organum” 4:29 0.89%
1 Vivace (spiccato assai) 7:59 1.59%
2 Moderato 8:01 1.59%
3 Legato soave e liscio 8:30 1.69%
4 Tranquillo e piano 64:45 12.87%
5 Ardito, focosamente 8:23 1.67%
6 Vivace e leggiero 3:30 0.70%
7 2:27 0.49%
8 Tempo di Valzer con molta fantasia, disinvoltura e eleganza 20:54 4.15%
9 Capriccioso 11:27 2.28%
10 Il tutto in una sonorità piena, dolce, morbida, calda e voluttuosa. Cantato dolcemente 33:13 6.60%
11 Vivace e secco 2:19 0.46%
12 Leggiero a capriccio 7:16 1.44%
13 Aria. Con fantasia e dolcezza 22:16 4.43%
14 Punta d’organo 26:48 5.33%
15 Ispanica. Con brio, leggiero, impertinente 13:08 2.61%
16 Marcia funebre 4:34 0.91%
17 Soave e dolce 3:24 0.68%
18 Duro, irato, energico 10:27 2.08%
19 Quasi Debussy. Dolcemente cantato 7:28 1.48%
20 Spiccato, leggiero 3:43 0.74%
21 Legatissimo, dolce e soave 8:49 1.75%
22 Passacaglia 97:28 19.38%
23 Con brio 12:21 2.46%
24 Oscuro, sordo 10:47 2.14%
25 Sotto voce, scorrevole, fuggitivo 2:16 0.45%
26 Largamente pomposo e maestoso 16:24 3.26%
27.1 Fuga I (Fuga quintuplice a due, tre, quattro e sei voci ed a cinque soggetti) 13:43 2.73%
27.2 Fuga II 6:24 1.27%
27.3 Fuga III 9:53 1.96%
27.4 Fuga IV 8:53 1.77%
27.5 Fuga V 41:04 8.16%
Total   08:23:03 100.00%
Last modified: 2021-05-21
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

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